Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Bengals duo back to work

Johnson finishes community service; Langford quits boxing

By John Erardi
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Bengals have two players back in the “full-time” football fold.

        Rookie wide receiver Chad Johnson has completed his 30 hours of community service in California, and veteran defensive end Jevon Langford has completed (for now) his pursuit of being a boxer.

        Jim Lippincott, Bengals director of pro/college personnel, said the club “researched thoroughly” Johnson's involvement in an altercation with his then-girlfriend at Santa Monica Junior College before they drafted him in the second round in April. Johnson hadn't completed his 30 hours of community service by draft day, and that caused some NFL clubs to shy away from him. The Bengals had the assistance of NFL security in researching that case.

        “We felt confident we knew where he stood when we drafted him,” Lippincott said.

        Johnson is fast: 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

        The Bengals feel they acquired the equivalent of a first-round pick in Johnson.

        “The way the draft unfolded, different teams were looking for different things,” Lippincott said. “With all the receivers available in the draft, when it came down to choosing one, a (lot of teams) felt "We can get one later on.'”

        Johnson will back up Darnay Scott and Peter Warrick and play in some three-receiver sets.

        As for Langford, he's shunning the sweet science to concentrate on football. As a boxer he was 2-0 this offseason with two first-round knockouts.

        “There's a chance you're going to get your brain scrambled a little bit when you're boxing,” Lippincott said. “And I think it affected his playing weight. He's probably a little lighter now (260) than when he plays (270) because of all the road work and training in the gym.”

        Langford was a fourth-round pick in 1996.


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